Newsletter Archive:.
  December 2014  

UAW 2865, UC Student-Worker Union, Becomes First Major U.S. Labor Union to Support Divestment From Israel by Membership Vote

 VOTING MEMBERS APPROVE CALL FOR DIVESTMENT by 65%; 52% pledged to support academic boycott.

UAW 2865, a labor union representing over 13,000 teaching assistants, tutors, and other student-workers at the University of California, has become the first major U.S. labor union to hold a membership vote responding to the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli occupation and in solidarity with Palestinian self-determination. The vote passed, with 65% (almost 2/3) of voting members in support. Over 2100 members voted, a testament to union democracy.

The measure calls on:

1) the University of California to divest from companies involved in Israeli occupation and apartheid;

2) the UAW International to divest from these same entities;

3) the US government to end military aid to Israel.

4) 52 % of voting members also pledged not to “take part in any research, conferences, events, exchange programs, or other activities that are sponsored by Israeli universities complicit in the occupation of Palestine and the settler-colonial policies of the state of Israel” until such time as these universities take steps to end complicity with dispossession, occupation, and apartheid.

1136 members pledged to observe the academic boycott, a reflection of the ways student laborers are taking concrete actions to practice solidarity. In July, the union’s Joint Council, comprised of 83 elected officers across nine UC campuses, published an open letter outlining support for the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) “against public institutions and corporations that profit from Israeli apartheid and occupation of Palestinians.” This open letter announced it would seek a membership vote on the matter in the coming academic year. The UAW 2865 Joint Council took these steps in response to a call for solidarity from all major Palestinian trade unions, including the Palestinian University Teachers’ Association, The Joint Council’s open letter was followed by four months of internal debate prior to the election and deep engagement by members statewide.


Repression Fails to Stop the Growing BDS Movement on North American Campuses!

The tide has turned, and BDS has built a broad based international human rights movement that firmly stands with the Palestinian struggle to end Israel’s violations of international law and achieves freedom, justice and equality. This movement cannot be easily stopped.


BfW to MIL 15 Festival, Santiago, Chile: Boycott Batsheva

 From Israeli citizens: Please say NO to Batsheva and Israeli Apartheid Propaganda! We are Israeli citizens who are active against our government’s policies of racism, apartheid and occupation towards the Palestinian people … . We would like to explain why this cooperation would be wrong.

American Anthropological Association Conference Overwhelmingly Rejects anti-BDS Motion

The American Anthropological Association conference in Washington, DC “soundly defeated a proposed resolution opposing the academic boycott of Israel.”Of the 700 anthropologists participating in the debate, only 52 voted for a resolution opposing the academic boycott of Israel.


PACBI Editorial 

2014: Shattering the Academic Boycott of Israel Taboo

2014 was simultaneously a terribly painful and remarkably hopeful year for the Palestinian people. Israel’s massacre in Gaza during the summer was its worst to date against Palestinians under its occupation. Its barbaric siege and systematic denial of basic needs to the 1.8 million Palestinians in the world’s largest prison camp, the Gaza Strip, has been described as “incremental genocide” by the prominent Israeli historian Ilan Pappe and as collective punishment and a war crime by leading human rights organizations around the world Israel’s ethnic cleansing and state-enabled fanatic settlers’ violence against the indigenous Palestinian communities in Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and the Naqab (Negev) have reached an unprecedented intensity and criminality. Israel’s parliament has shed any mask of supposed democracy, revealing the true nature Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid like never before. Yet, the BDS movement grew exponentially in 2014, and its growth in the academic field was no exception! Here are some highlights of the academic boycott of Israel developments in 2014: January: A BDS panel at the Modern Language Association was received by Israel and its lobby groups as another sign of the growth of BDS in mainstream academic circles in the U.S. February: The New York Times Editorial Board condemned attempts in the New York Legislature to pass a bill that would bar state financing for academic groups that support the boycott of Israeli universities. Dozens of leading Irish academics signed a pledge honoring the academic boycott of Israel until Palestinian rights are respected. March: University of Massachusetts Boston faculty and staff sign a statement endorsing the academic boycott of Israel. People’s Books Co-op votes to join the BDS movement against Israel, instituting a consumer, cultural and academic boycott of the Israeli state. Dundee University students adopt BDS-related motions by an overwhelming majority--72.6 percent of those who participated in the vote supported the motion. A motion calling on the Students’ Union of the National University of Galway (Ireland) to actively participate in the BDS movement passesby an almost 2 to 1 margin (1,954 to 1,054 votes) during a student referendum.


Robbie Williams: Do not play apartheid Israel

All we are asking is for you to refrain from crossing a picket line called by Palestinian society, endorsed by international organizations, and increasingly supported by progressive-Israelis.



Faithwashing: Muslims used as fig leaves in Israel propaganda campaign

 The Muslim Leadership Initiative is an explicit attempt to make Zionists … out of those who … hold varying semblances of influence and respect in their communities, especially with younger Muslims.


15 powerful ways student activists stood up for Palestine in 2014

 Students have become a forceful voice of consciousness in human rights movements from the US to Palestine. Here is a list of the top fifteen times US students stood up for human rights, academic freedom, etc.

  Risala in Arabic means mission, message or letter